Boy's reputation lives on, Sept. 30 article
Save lives: Organ donors do just that
Austin Carter's death is a devastating loss which should be felt by no parent — and the story of his organ donation is beautiful example of the many miracles created annually by the gift of organ and tissue donation. His family, in the midst of their grief, made the decision to spare other families the same tragedy by allowing their child to become an organ donor.
The generosity of the Carter family sets an example for the rest of us — decide to become an organ donor, sign up on Florida's Donor Registry when renewing your driver's license or ID card and share your decision with your family. One organ donor can save the lives of eight people, and impact many more through tissue donation. There are nearly 100,000 people nationally waiting for a life-saving transplant, almost 3,800 of whom are our friends and neighbors in Florida. Each of us has an opportunity to become a hero every time we say "yes" to organ and tissue donation. Contact LifeLink of Florida for more information at 800-262-5775.
Jennifer Krouse, Tampa, Manager of Public Affairs, LifeLink of Florida
Relief might be near for Aloha customers | Oct. 1 editorial
Windfall or not, let Aloha be gone
I am a long-suffering customer of Aloha Utilities. You said that if the appraisal for the utility justifies the amount being paid for it, than the closing sale makes sense. Contrarily, asking customers to foot the bill for an exorbitant windfall for a company short on service but long on excuses is unfair to the people who've tolerated Aloha's stalling tactics for more than a dozen years.
I have no idea what the appraisal is going to be, however, I don't care whether Aloha gets a windfall or not as long as they are gone. The alternative is to pay the Public Service Commission's approved increase of rates of over 100 percent and still have dirty, smelly water.
It's a tired but true saying, but I can't wait to say aloha to Aloha.
Donna Vaurio, Trinity
Gun fail-safe can help save lives | Oct. 2 letter
Gun rules are just common sense
Safe gun handling, and the demonstrated ability to fire a gun safely and accurately are the standards created by the state of Florida, and are rigorously followed by each and every firearm instructor certified by the National Rifle Association, which issues a certificate of firearm training. The NRA's golden rule of gun handling is to always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, so that even if it fires for any reason it won't cause injury or damage.
Rule number two is to always keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. The trigger finger should rest against the side of the gun or the trigger guard.
Rule number three is to always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. When unloading a semi-automatic handgun immediately engage any safety device it may have, remove the magazine from the gun, and open the action (usually a slide mechanism) and carefully examine the opened chamber to be sure it is clear of all ammunition (called cartridges or rounds, not bullets).
Think before you shoot. Know your target and what is beyond or in the area to be sure it is clear of people and property. Know how to use your gun safely, know its basic parts. Never solely rely on the gun's safety mechanism. It cannot be relied upon as foolproof. Clean and store your gun properly, protecting it from unauthorized access. Make sure you use the correct ammunition for your gun, wear eye and ear protection whenever appropriate and never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting. Even some prescription drugs can impair one's normal mental or physical functions.
Accidental firearm fatalities can be prevented by following a few common sense rules, and every responsible gun owner should make it his or her business to be familiar with them.
The current concealed carry training guidelines and requirements are quite adequate.
Lee Hanson, Hudson
Imagine Schools are nonprofit
I was pleased to see the interview with Dennis and Eileen Bakke, founders of Imagine Schools in your publication on Sept. 27. Jeffrey S. Solochek's questions and answers from Dennis and Eileen clearly support the need for school choice in public education.
However, I noticed that a few opinions on the blog in response to the interview were misinformed in asserting that Imagine Schools was a for-profit management company and that the Bakkes are motivated by profits.
Imagine Schools is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to provide school choice to parents, and the Bakkes are motivated by their passionate commitment to that purpose. They have personally invested over $100-million in Imagine, and will receive no financial profit from that investment.
Imagine Schools nonprofit utilizes all public funds to provide quality education, and expanded school choice to the communities we serve.
Fred Damianos, Ellenton, Region vice president, Imagine Schools